MLB to allow teams to refund fans for tickets to lost games

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Last week we wrote about a lawsuit filed against Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs arising out of their keeping ticket money for 2020 games despite the fact that those games are not going to be played. The justification in MLB’s mind was that these games were considered postponed, not canceled, thereby allowing teams to hold on to that cash. They were presumably planning to offer credit for tickets in 2021 in exchange.

Today, likely realizing that more lawsuits, fan displeasure, and, possibly, political pressure will come their way if they maintain that stance, Major League Baseball said that it is allowing teams to offer refunds to fans for games not played. It’ll be optional, with each team being allowed to set its own policy.

As noted this morning, baseball is optimistic that games will be played this year, but there is absolutely no plan in place. Practically speaking these games will be cancelled, not postponed, even if they play some portion of the season in neutral locations.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.